The 2022 Kia Seltos is a subcompact SUV with an affordable price, available all-wheel drive, and a roomy cabin that’s accommodating to anyone seated in the first or second row. Thanks to its tidy dimensions, the Seltos is also easy to scoot through traffic and fits in parking spots that bulkier SUVs could never hope to squeeze into.
The 2022 Seltos is offered in five main trims: LX, S, EX, Nightfall Edition, and SX. A 146-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4 paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is the motivating force behind the lower three trims. Upgrading to the Nightfall Edition or SX means a punchier 175-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 and dual-clutch automatic transmission come along for the ride.
While the added performance of the turbocharged engine is fun, we think most car shoppers will be fine with the fuel-efficient base powertrain. All-wheel drive is standard on almost every Seltos, the sole exception being the S trim, which comes standard with front-wheel drive (FWD) but can be optioned with all-wheel drive (AWD).
This might explain why the entry-level variant, the Seltos LX, is the most popular choice in the range.
Starting at $22,590, excluding Kia’s $1,195 destination fee, not only does the Seltos LX come with all-wheel drive as standard, it’s equipped with comfort and convenience features such as an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, three drive modes (Normal, Eco, Sport), a 6-speaker audio system, and one USB port.
Granted, you won’t mistake the Seltos’ cabin for a Lexus or BMW, but it’s light, airy, and offers good outward visibility.
The Seltos is also fitted with a number of active safety features as standard, including automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, a driver attention monitor, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beam headlights.
Let’s take a closer look at the features that make the Seltos LX such a popular choice.
With an entry price of approximately $23,000, the Seltos LX might be the base trim but it has the distinction of coming with all-wheel drive. This is often a pricey option on rival small crossovers and SUVs. On some competitors, such as the Toyota C-HR and Nissan Kicks, all-wheel drive isn’t an option at all.
We’ll admit the optional turbocharged 4-cylinder in the Nightfall Edition and SX has a power advantage. Yet the 146-horsepower 4-cylinder in the LX is perfectly fine for routine driving needs, so long as you don’t expect to be the first away when a traffic light turns green.
With its AWD system, the Seltos LX returns an EPA-rated 27 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway. This compares well to rivals like the Volkswagen Taos and Chevrolet Trailblazer.
8-Inch Infotainment System
This is a user-friendly infotainment system and the standard fitment of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is a big bonus for car shoppers attached to their smartphones. The menus are easy to navigate and response times are quick. We do wish there was more than one USB port, however.
Behind the split-folding rear seatback there’s 26.6 cubic feet of cargo room. This is impressive for a subcompact SUV, and folding those rear seats expands volume to more than 62 cubic feet. For comparison, the Nissan Kicks’ cargo area measures in at 25.3 cubic feet, and the Hyundai Venue’s comes in at 18.7 cubic feet.
With two rows of seating and room for five onboard, the cloth seats in the Seltos LX do a commendable job keeping occupants comfortable. Legroom is abundant and the rear seat has a recline function that’s very appreciated during long drives.
We’ve already pointed out that the Seltos LX comes with a solid lineup of active safety features, including a driver attention monitor, lane-keep assist, lane-follow assist, and automatic high-beam headlights, to name a few.
What You Don’t Get
While the Seltos LX can save you money, it might be worth upgrading to a higher trim for added features like some of the ones in the list below.
Extras like heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring, and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen (standard on all but the LX) aren’t available, even as options, on the LX trim.
Here are a few items on the Seltos S and EX trims that could have SUV shoppers moving a trim, or two, higher up.
Two USB ports
Automatic climate control
Rear heating/cooling air ducts
Wireless smartphone charging
Power-adjustable driver’s seat
Ready for more of the Kia Seltos? Read our full review to learn more about the 2022 Kia Seltos’ features, equipment, and driving manners, or build and price your own Seltos, then see Seltos models for sale near you.